Mistakes lead to defeat

Several regulars sit out as volleyball falls to lowly Nipissing

Queen’s sits seventh in the OUA with four games remaining in the season.
Queen’s sits seventh in the OUA with four games remaining in the season.

The Gaels got caught sleeping up north last weekend, before scaring a top club in Toronto.

Last Saturday’s game up north ended quickly with Queen’s losing 17-25, 23-25, 26-28 against a surprisingly capable Nipissing Lakers (4-12) squad.

Looking to turn things around in Sunday’s match, the men stormed into Toronto but were unable to maintain their enthusiasm for all four sets, falling 31-33, 22-25, 27-25, 21-25 to the York Lions (12-4).

A series of lineup changes marked the men’s first contest of the weekend. Head coach Brenda Willis made adjustments according to how they had performed in practice the previous week.

She also rested players on Saturday in anticipation of the next day’s match against York. Outside hitters Philippe Goyer and Will Sidgwick, libero Ivo Dramov and setter Jamie Wright all sat out against the Lakers.

“As a coach, you live and die with those choices,” Willis said.

Saturday’s opening set was the Gaels’ worst of the day. With as many kills as errors, the set was over before the men had a chance to compose themselves.

Scoring picked up from there, but Nipissing went on to win two subsequent sets.

“We played with too comfortable a mindset,” Willis said.

Hitters Mike Tomlinson and Markus Trence had 18 and eight kills, respectively. Middle Scott Brunet posted four blocks and libero Jacob Glantz contributed 11 digs.

The game Queen’s had rested for came against fourth-place York. Saturday’s loss sparked a strong opening, which went back and forth well past the usual 25-point mark.

At 31-33, the Gaels were finally subdued. Willis said if they prevailed in the opening frame, the boost of confidence would have altered the subsequent sets.

Serving was key once again for the squad, who couldn’t maintain a high level of consistency and turned over a number of service errors.

“We started out serving aggressively, but you can’t hand over almost an entire set,” Willis said.

Errors would be the men’s demise in the fourth and final set, when the team produced just 11 kills to 10 errors.

What isn’t to be overlooked is the Gaels’ ability to rise to challenges. Goyer was leaned on and responded in spades, leading the team with 19 kills, seven digs and two blocks.

In the high-scoring contest, Tomlinson and Sidgwick produced 15 and eight kills, respectively. Dramov had 11 digs and Wright put up 48 assists.

The Gaels have four games, all at home, remaining in the regular season. This weekend’s games will challenge the men in different ways, as they take on both the highest and lowest ranked teams in the province.

The top-seeded McMaster Mauraders (15-1) will be in the ARC Saturday at 3 p.m., while the Gaels will travel across the bridge to take on the RMC Paladins (0-16) on Sunday at 4 p.m.

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